Thanks to robust December sales—which improved 33 percent over the same month in 2009—Hyundai wrapped up last year with its best annual U.S. sales performance ever. The automaker attracted a whopping 538,228 new customers in 2010, an increase of 24 percent over the prior year. And notably, these numbers also added up to a significant increase in market share, too. Highlighting this accomplishment was the success of the all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai’s dramatically designed mid-size sedan rang up nearly 200,000 sales last year, a 64 percent jump over 2009, and that included reaping the largest jump in retail sales of any car on the market. This “shows how well consumers have responded to our high-tech 4-cylinder lineup, dynamic new design, and the mid-size segment’s first 5-star 2011 NHTSA crash test result,” said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai America, who also understated that “Improving Sonata Turbo availability, and the lithium-polymer battery-powered Sonata Hybrid that arrives later this month, should help Sonata find a few more buyers in 2011.” Also putting up big numbers last year were the Hyundai Elantra and Hyundai Tucson. Even with the all-new, 40-mpg Elantra not debuting until November, Hyundai’s compact still notched 132,246 sales in 2010, representing a 28 percent boost over 2009. The Tucson found plenty of traction as well, garnering 157 percent more customers last year as compared to 2009. The all-new Hyundai Equus luxury sedan debuted in December to strong demand as well, while the Hyundai Genesis recorded its 18th straight month of year-over-year sales increases. “The continued growth in Genesis sales shows how much the Hyundai brand has grown over the last two years,” added Krafcik. “Genesis market share has now exceeded our most optimistic early projections, and has set the stage well for continued growth in premium segments.” The bottom line according to the Hyundai exec: “December was the capstone to a good year for Hyundai, with our total sales results actually understating the more important gains we made at retail, where we added a full point of market share. While we grew total volume 24 percent, retail volume through our 800-strong dealer network climbed 35 percent.” And with that kind of volume, it’s obvious that customers are hearing the Hyundai benefit story loud and clear.